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Sustainable Cities Staff

Jane McRae Chief Executive Officer
Edna Aguinaga Network Project Officer, Latin America
Caroline Assaf Project Officer
Alex Aylett Research Director
Sharon Bloedorn Communications + Events Coordinator
Pat Gordon Director
Karen Marki Finance Director / Senior Project Manager
Bertine Stelzer Project Officer, SCI Energy Lab




Jane McRae, Chief Executive Officer

contact Jane: jcmcrae(at)

Jane McRae has been with the organization since the inception of the SCI Network in 2003, playing a key role in designing and implementing the program. Her current international development work with local governments and their key stakeholders is enhanced by a cross-sectoral career background. She has both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education degree.

Jane has worked in the sustainable development field for over 16 years, starting with her role as an environmental educator for 10 years in the academic sector, a sustainability analyst with the energy industry for two years, and from 2000 - 2003, working on urban sustainability issues through her role as the citiesPLUS Project Manager. citiesPLUS was Canada's winning entry in the World Gas Conference’s sustainable urban design competition that involved teams from eight countries. It was the success of this project that led to the launch of the Sustainable Cities International Network, now in its sixth year of operation.

In addition to managing the Sustainable Cities International Network, Jane has had extensive hands-on experience working on projects with African and Latin American cities, connecting talents that complement each other in order to make things happen. She has built a foundation of relationships that testify to her deep commitment to international collaboration for a more sustainable world.


Ms. Edna Aguinaga, Network Project Officer, Latin America

contact Edna: edna(at)

Edna has worked in sustainability issues for over 10 years, in developing and developed countries. She is originally from Mexico. She holds a Master's degree on Environmental Science and Technology from the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in The Netherlands and a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from La Salle University in Mexico. She has extensive experience with corporate and non-profit sectors and has worked and facilitated workshops in more than 25 countries. Edna's role at Sustainable Cities is to be the main liaison with our Latin American cities, providing support for their initiatives and expanding the Network. Her areas of expertise are strategic planning, sustainability indicators, fundraising / sales and project management.


Caroline Assaf, Project Officer

contact Caroline: CAssaf(at)


Dr. Alex Aylett, Research Director

contact Alex: aaylett (@)

Alex Aylett is Research Director at SCI and an urban sustainability researcher and consultant. He has a PhD in urban sustainability and is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. He has worked on urban sustainability in Canada, the United States, Europe and Africa.


Sharon Bloedorn, Communications and Events Coordinator

contact Sharon: sbloedorn(at)

Sharon Bloedorn has a deep interest in the healthy transformation of communities that are implementing sustainability principles. She holds a B.F.A. from Emily Carr Institute of Design, and has extensive experience in a number of industries, including the film industry, online publishing and interior design. Her knowledge of LEED building practices and an interest in intelligent design and sustainable building solutions, she continues to be an active member of the design and urban development industry where her primary focus is on green practices. Her work at Sustainable Cities includes developing strategic ideas and direction for senior staff, coordinating events and communications to meet the complex local, national, cultural and international needs of the organization. 


Pat Gordon, Network Director

contact Pat: pgordon(at)

Pat has over 20 years experience in the not-for-profit and municipal, provincial and federal government sectors in Canada and Great Britain.

Pat has been at the forefront of long range urban planning with The City of Calgary. She managed the imagineCALGARY project, Calgary’s long range urban sustainability plan. Today, imagineCALGARY remains the biggest civic visioning project in the world with over 18,000 citizens engaged. Building on imagineCALGARY, Pat then led the Plan It Calgary project which has resulted in a sustainable, integrated land use and transportation plan for Calgary.

Pat has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Calgary, Canada and a Masters of Science in Earth Science and the Environment from Kingston University in the UK.


Karen Aroca Marki, Senior Project Manager

contact Karen: kmarki(at)

Karen Marki joined Sustainable Cities after moving to Vancouver from San Francisco where she was the Director of Finance and Administration for the Northern California Community Loan Fund. This $35M loan fund provided grants and financing for nonprofit organizations serving both urban and rural communities in 47 counties of Northern California. In 2006, Ms.Marki was accepted into an executive course on Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Non Profit Organizations at Harvard University. Prior to her six years with the Fund, she was the Development Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Francisco and the Peninsula, and has been a long-time volunteer with several organizations focused on youth and the homeless population. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance, a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Management, and over 15 years of experience in helping manage non-profit organizations that focus on low-income communities.


Bertine Stelzer, Project Officer, SCI Energy Lab

contact Bertine: bstelzer(at)

She has been with Sustainable Cities since the inception of the Network, playing a key role in designing and implementing the Program.